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(53:17, Strangiato Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Resurrection 6:35 2. Learn to Live 4:47 3. The Journey 5:43 4. One Way 6:01 5. Shine 6:05 6. You Stay With Me 6:10 7. Mount Meggido 8:37 8. Celebration 9:19 LINEUP: Indrek Patte – vocals; keyboards; guitars Kristjan Mazurtshak – saxophone Vladislav Reinfeldt – bass Priidik Soon – flute Edward Soon – cello Hendrik Soon – violin Raul Jaanson – guitars With: Jiri Mazurtshak – drums, percussion Toomas Vanem – guitars Margus Kliimask – bass Taavo Remmel – bass Elisabeth Vardja – b/v Annabel Vardja – b/v
Prolusion. Estonian composer and instrumentalist Indrek PATTE is apparently one of the veterans of the local Estonian rock scene, being a member of or involved with a number of bands dating all the way back to the 70's. "Celebration" marks his debut as a solo artist, and was released through the Estonian progressive rock oriented label Strangiato Records in 2011.
Analysis. "Celebration" is a production that apparently aims to celebrate two rather different cases: composer Patte's passion for progressive rock and his passion for a specific world religion. The latter of which is Christianity, in case anyone wonders, and as Patte isn't out to hold sermons and opts to stay safely away from namedropping deity in every other sentence this part of the package shouldn't be troublesome for those not sharing his religious beliefs. As for the progressive rock part of the package, it is an album that does look back to the 70's first and foremost. Opening piece Resurrection and final piece Celebration both have an obvious vintage Genesis character to them. The former is based around an organ and guitar combinations of a distinct vintage symphonic character, the latter blending in pastoral passages with harpsichord and cello initially, and then hits off on a neo-progressive run and a harder edged AOR oriented one prior to concluding in a majestic manner that should please fans of 70's symphonic art rock in general and of Genesis in particular. Otherwise we're served a rather varied dish, with AOR-tinged excursions closer to the likes of Ambrosia, Spock's Beard and ‘80s Kansas as well as somewhat more eclectic creations that should find favor among fans of Gentle Giant in between the bookending pieces, and on Mount Meggido the major part of the composition plays out in a dark, aggressive guitar driven manner that comes pretty close to progressive metal in expression. All the songs are well written and well performed affairs however, and as long as you enjoy features with more of a mainstream orientation in between the more purebred progressive rock creations this is a CD that should please the greater majority of avid art rock fans I'd think. An additional bonus is Patte's abilities as a vocalist: pitch perfect delivery according to my ears, with a finely controlled voice with a subtle gritty timbre to it that suits all the stylistic variations explored quite nicely. All assembled in a well mixed and well produced package too.
Conclusion. Indrek Patte's solo debut "Celebration" comes across as a production that celebrates 70's oriented progressive and pomp rock both, featuring compositions of a purebred symphonic art rock character just as much as numbers with more of a straightforward, AOR oriented expression. Fans of artists such as Spock's Beard and Ambrosia might be something of a key audience for this CD, although I'd imagine that quite a few with a soft spot for the likes of Genesis might find this one to be of interest too.
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